Long Beach State needed just 58 minutes to dispatch Harvard, 3-0 (25-17, 25-11, 25-8), in the finale of the Harvard Invitational in Cambridge, Mass.
Quincy Verdin led the 49ers with 11 kills, six digs and seven blocks, while hitting .476. The 49ers dominated the Crimson with an eight-ace outing, while out-blocking Harvard 9.5-1. LBSU also held an advantage with 38 assists to Harvard’s 18.
LBSU also notched straight-set tournament wins against Central Connecticut State (25-9, 25-16, 25-14) and Dartmouth (25-11, 25-8, 25-14), while taking a five-set victory over American University (25-13, 26-28, 25-18, 23-25, 15-13).
“We did well and played as a team,” sophomore outside hitter Ashley Lee said. “We were communicating — talking and helping each other.”
Lee was named to the All-Tournament team, along with senior setter Nicole Vargas and freshman outside hitter Caitlin Ledoux. Vargas tallied 136 assists and recorded 30 digs in the four matches. Ledoux had 49 kills and 27 digs, while Lee led the 49ers with 51 digs throughout the tournament.
“I played for my team,” Lee said. “But there’s always room for improvement.”
With the four wins at the Harvard Invitational, the 49ers maintained the No. 22 national ranking with a 9-1 record. They next will play two matches against Santa Clara Friday and Saturday, with both matches scheduled for 7 p.m.
Men’s water polo drops match to Trojans; Hires new assistant
The 49ers (2-3) failed to secure an early lead as they fell to No. 2 University of Southern California, 15-8, last Saturday.
LBSU took a 4-3 lead going into the second period, but USC stormed back with five unanswered goals and eventually took a 9-5 lead going into the half.
Senior Jake Kinne, junior Jeff Greenwood and senior Ash Blythen led the way for Long Beach with two goals each. Junior Justin Koeppen and senior Mike Del Grande chipped in one goal apiece.
The squad also lost an exhibition match to a 49er alumni team, 15-14, in the annual alumni game played on Sunday.
The alumni team held a 6-5 lead going into the half and tacked on three more goals in the third period to take a four-goal advantage into the fourth. The current 49ers tied the game late in the fourth period, but an alumni goal with eight seconds remaining lifted the former ‘Niners to a one-goal victory.
The 49ers will travel to Stockton this weekend to participate in the Northern California Tournament. Their first opponent will be the UC San Diego Tritons in a match scheduled for 9:20 a.m. Saturday. The tournament runs through Sunday, Sept. 21.
Also, two-time Olympian Heather Moody has been hired as an assistant for both the men’s and women’s programs.
“Her experience as an athlete and a coach are what stand out,” head coach Gavin Arroyo said in a press release on Monday.
Senior leads 49er women at Aztec Invitational
Senior Sarah Apgar raced to an eighth place finish at the Aztec Invitational in Balboa Park, allowing the Long Beach State women’s cross country team to place ninth at the meet with 236 points.
Apgar clocked in at 18:02, improving on her 18:18 (30th) mark at last season’s meet. She was joined in the Top 25 by two fellow 49er seniors.
Carly Harris finished in 19th place with a time of 18:32 and Kristina Wilson came in 23rd with a mark of 18:38. Harris bested her 19:01 mark of last season, while Wilson improved on her previous mark of 19:14 at the same meet.
Seniors Missy Barclay, Cheryl Bube and Melissa Velasquez finished with times of 19:45, 20:52 and 21:14, respectively.
Azusa Pacific took the women’s title with 96 points.
Stacey Flores was tops among all LBSU freshmen with a time of 19:56. Alisia Barajas (20:04), Kim Sherman (20:16) and Jessica Barnard (21:00) round out the freshmen class.
The 49er men placed 14th with 356 points. LBSU was led by freshman Bret Hasvold who finished 72nd with a time of 26:35. Other notable 49er finishers are freshman Matt Maldonado, who came in 80th with a time of 26:45 and sophomore Steven DeCastro who crossed the line two seconds behind to place 83rd.
Brigham Young University captured first place with 32 points.
The 49ers return to action at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Saturday, Sept. 27.
Tracy McDannald contributed to this report.